Analog Montreal: Schwartz’s Smoked Meat

November 22nd, 2010

If there was any one food I absolutely had to eat in Montreal, it was the smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s. Viande fumee was a revelation for me on my last trip there and Schwartz’s topped the list.
Here in Brooklyn, we’ve got Mile End’s excellent version, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go to the source.
So, on our last day in town, when my friends were brunching at the hotel and heading to the airport, I ditched everyone and made my way to St. Laurent to experience it again.

When I got there, the line was out the door, as usual, but since I was alone, I got a spot at the counter immediately.
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Once seated, I glanced at the menu, but there wasn’t really any question of what I was getting.
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Maybe I had hyped the sandwich too much over the last seven years, but I have to say I was a little disappointed.
The meat just didn’t melt the way I remembered. It was a little dry, not as luscious as it should have been.
It’s certainly possible I just got a lesser batch, I didn’t see an option for more or less lean like the have at Katz’s, maybe I didn’t say the magic words for fatty goodness.
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The couple next to me was from Brooklyn and raved about theirs to the counterman.
I wouldn’t swear off Schwartz’s for one less than amazing sandwich. I’ll certainly return the next time I’m in Montreal, but I won’t be calling it the best of the best, at least until I have a few more – just to be sure.

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